The Superdome, where those who couldn't get out of New Orleans are being held, is quickly becoming less of a haven and more of a hell.
There is open violence due to rising tempers because of the undeniable stress of the situation. People have been killed, but there are no numbers because of the violence. The bathrooms are avoided by many, and so there is human waste everywhere. And, what I was afraid of the most (and, of course, have heard next to nothing about on the otherwise decent coverage by the mainstream media): an untold number of rapes have already occurred, and at least one victim was a child. (From the NY Times)
Darcel Monroe, 21, a bakery cashier, stammered hysterically as she recounted seeing two young girls being raped in one of the women's bathrooms. "A lot of people saw it but they were afraid to do anything," she said. "He ran out past all of us."
And to make matters worse, the neo-con wingnuts are blaming the hurricane itself on the "sodomites" and "sinners" of New Orleans:
"Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city," stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage in a statement. "From 'Girls Gone Wild' to 'Southern Decadence,' New Orleans was a city that opened its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. May it never be the same."
Not only that, they're now openly degrading the refugees and survivors, saying it's their fault that they've got nothing now, because they "chose" not to get out:
Atrios' coverage of Michael Chertoff on (where else?) Fox News:
"The critical thing was to get people out of there before the disaster," he said on NBC's Today program. "Some people chose not to obey that order. That was a mistake on their part."
Because the plethora of homeless and poverty-stricken people of New Orleans really had a choice. Riight.
Oh, and WND also blames the removal of the 10 Commandments from schools for the current looting in schools.
Obviously, it's not because people are desperate and have no other way to acquire necessary goods. They should of course be waiting for store employees to return to work so that they can legitimately buy said goods with the money that they no longer have, never had, or was stolen from them.
And there's nothing like exploiting the refugees' need for shelter. A lot of the more disgusting ads have been removed, but there are a good number of listings on craigslist.com that both men and women have posted, looking for a "stay and lay" refugee to come live with them. While the legitimate offers of temporary housing in random good samaritans' homes are touching, these are just gross:
All you Playa Haters Need Not Respond Baby, I'm a humanitarian with a sweet sweet giving soul and you ain't!
Speaking of craigslist offers of housing, perhaps a better option, instead of posting something on the internet where those living in a city under water with no electricity would never be able to read it, would be to contact people who are physically in or near the disaster area. Then, you would not only actually have the possibility of reaching people you might be trying to help, but you lose the sketchy impersonality and danger of offering up free housing on the internet.
It's times like these, though, that I wish I wasn't a poor, broke college student with no skills. Because I have no money to donate, and I have no skills (medical/other) to offer. So all I can do, really, is encourage other, not so broke people with special skills to do what they can.